An bhfuil cead agam dul to dtí Phil Collins?

It may well be the most innovative move ever to flog tickets for the Phil Collins’ show at the Aviva Stadium this summer. This is the show where they keep putting new acts on the bill, in addition to pushing ads every time you turn on the radio. Perhaps plugs as Gaeilge for the show, as aired the other night on Today FM, is what will work to shift those tickets?

Cad a dhéanfaimid feasta gan Phil
Cad a dhéanfaimid feasta gan Phil

The problem for Collins at this stage is that the Neil Diamond factor has now kicked in. Even when you hear something on the radio which is as much editorial as advertorial for an upcoming gig, you’re reminded that you’re hearing fecking ads for this morning, noon and night. While other shows on Collins’ “Not Dead Yet” have sold out (and a lot of the other shows, interestingly, are in indoor arenas), this one is still in play, hence the continuing promo and ads.

In 2017, punters are sussed enough to know that you don’t have ads for shows which are selling well. It’s only when there are a large bunch of tickets left on the Ticketmaster system that desperate measures kick in – and despite a raft of innovations and new technolgy turning the music business upside down, promoters always seem to plump for ramping up the ad buying campaign when the going gets tough.

There’s no need for ad campaigns when a gig sells right out of the gate like Guns N’Roses at Slane Castle or the Electric Picnic this summer, but it’s the ones which stick around like a bad smell like Collins which need that push. Same, strangely enough, with Arcade Fire at Malahide Castle: this is a 21,000 capacity show, yet the band who sold out the 40,000 capacity Marlay Park in 2014 are having problems shifting those tickets.

If there is an upside, it’s that the touts appear to have got burned. There are some relatively cheaper tickets available on Seatwave and Get Me In for Collins if you want to score a bargain. Then again, as has often been the case when shows of this ilk are slow to go, it’s probably not price as much as venue which is causing this one to be as slow as the M50 at rush hour. The punters have sat through too many outdoor summer shows in the pouring rain to really want to face that again.

Still, that promo as Gaeilege could be the way to go. I’m waiting for some cute promoter to spend a few quid on a few ads to appeal to the 122,515 Poles living in Ireland. The data from that would be fascinating to see. Any promoter want to give that one a go and tell us how they got on?

Media in the age of fake news (165, May 2017)

The International Literature Festival Dublin takes place from May 20 to 29 with readings, discussions, debates, workshops, performance and screenings in venues across the city. We’re delighed to be part of this year’s festival with a discussion on a topic which you can’t get away from at the moment.


Banter on media in the age of fake news is a look at how media operates in an age when fake news seems to be at large everywhere you look. Have facts been replaced by fictions? Has journalism been tajen over by wild and wilful flights of imagination? What is newsworthy and what is fake – and more importantly, how do we tell them apart?

We’ll be joined by Kevin Donnellan (UK editor, Storyful), Lois Kapila (co-founder and managing editor, Dublin Inquirer), Jane Suiter (School of Communications DCU and Director of the Institute for Future Media and Journalism) and Cathal McMahon (Irish Independent) to discuss misinformation on social platforms, fact-checking practices, the journalistic compromises made in the name of clickbait and the problems which occur when readers want the believe the fake news that
they see.

This Banter event takes place at Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin on Saturday May 27 at 2pm. Tickets can be booked here.

A conversation with Stephen Donnelly TD (162, Apr 2017)

There are as many reasons why someone decides to become a public representative as there are men and women in Leinster House. Before 2011, Stephen Donnelly
worked as a project manager and consultant for companies like Transport for London and McKinsey and Company.


That year, he decided to stand for election to Dail Eireann and was elected as an independent first-time TD for Wicklow. Five years later, he was re-elected, this time
as a founding member of the Social Democracts, the party he subsequently left. A year on from that election, Donnelly has joined Fianna Fáil and is now the party’s
spokesperson on Brexit.

Deputy Donnelly joins us at Banter to talk about why he got involved in politics in the first place, the lessons he learned during that first spell in Dáil Eireann, his time with the Social Democrats, the move to Fianna Fáil and what comes next for a man who is most definitely no longer an accidental politician.

Banter’s conversation with Stephen Donnelly TD takes place at Wigwam (Middle Abbey Street, Dublin 1), on Thursday April 27. Doors open at 6pm and the interview, followed by an audience Q&A, starts at 6.30pm. Tickets can be booked here.